Film Review – The Space Between Us
The Space Between Us
“What’s your favorite thing about Earth?”
As a traveler, I am always mesmerized by the new things I see, the different people I meet and the amazing tastes of food I eat in any given county I visit. Every visit to a new place is a new adventure and an intense shock to my senses. If you were born on Mars, how much bigger would Earth be? What sort of questions would you have of these places you haven’t been, the people you haven’t met? Gardner Elliott’s experience of this newly discovered place gives new meaning to having an adventure in a new land in the film The Space Between Us.
“I believe they call it euphoria.”
Gardner Elliott (Asa Butterfield) was born on Mars in East Texas, a self-sustainable compound – a small town if you will, that was created by space dreamer Nathaniel Shepherd (Gary Oldman). His mother, Sarah Elliott (Janet Montgomery), was the lead astronaut in this pioneering mission to inhabit Mars. She unknowingly boarded the ship to Mars carrying a bun in the oven and gave birth upon arrival to East Texas, shortly dying in childbirth.
Raised by scientists, specifically Dr. Kendra Wyndham (Carla Gugino), Gardner grows up in “a bubble”. He’s never left Mars. BUT being an intelligent, typical teenage human, he figures a way to fix his problem – by breaking a few rules. He befriends a teenage girl on Earth named Tulsa (Britt Robertson). Through what means, it was not necessary to explain. Perhaps it was Tinder of the future? As a consequence of this connection, Gardner and Tulsa create a friendship over the interwebs during Tulsa’s calculus class. Not much is different in the teenage life of the future in this world.
Gardner’s motivation to travel to Earth stems from this friendship as well as the desire to find out more about his birth mother whom he has never met. The only things he knows of her is a wooden ring and a video clip of her and a man who he can only assume is his father. The rest of the film follows Gardner on this mission whilst experiencing Earth as a human Martian, taking in all the marvels – like feeling rain for the first time – that he’s only read about and seen on video clips shown to him by his “best friend robot” Centaur (voiced by Peter Chelsom, director).
The premise of this film is sweet and heartwarming. You’ll recognize bits of plots from other movies: teen romance (Romeo + Juliet), one of them has an ailment (A Walk to Remember), the other is cynical (10 Things I Hate About You), a space/scientific experiment we all wish would happen but is light years from ever happening (Jurassic Park or Passengers). The soundtrack was well-picked and the score made the film feel like a pleasant indie film, but not – kinda like how Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind made me feel. It’s not a soundtrack that I’d rave about, but I really liked the placement of this particular song, “Smallest Light” by Ingrid Michaelson, and I could really relate to the lyrics. It’s a song that works very well with the synopsis of the movie.
It’s not a blockbuster and the little futuristic things will throw people off as it’s background noise to the actual story that’s happening, but it’s lovely, simple and humbling when you discount the extra accessories. The dreamer will love it. The adventurous heart will empathize with it. The curious mind will relate to it. If you’re looking for cute (with a little twist), spend a date night drinking wine and sharing a pasta at Il Fornaio and then catching the last showing of this movie with a medium-sized, butter-drenched popcorn and a HUGE water. It’ll wind you down after a long week of work. This is one of those films that you know you won’t love, but is worth seeing at least once. You’ll thank me for this suggestion. ;)